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New Cleveland school ID cards help parents track students' bus travel, double as library card

A line of Cleveland Metropolitan School District school buses parked in Cleveland's Playhouse Square in fall 2022.
Conor Morris
Ideastream Public Media
A line of Cleveland Metropolitan School District school buses parked in Cleveland's Playhouse Square in fall 2022.

Cleveland Metropolitan School District parents can now have some extra peace of mind through new student ID cards that notify them when the students get on and off the school bus.

The ID cards also have an added bonus: they double as library cards for the Cleveland Public Library system, according to a release issuedby CMSD this week.

Eric Taylor, executive director of transportation for CMSD, said the ID cards are serving a dual purpose for the district: peace of mind for parents and as a “problem solving” tool for schools.

“Say that a child did not scan onto a bus, they may check with the school to see if he’s at an afterschool program, or you know what, he’s on the bus and scanned off the bus at his assigned time,” he explained.

The project is supported by a $300,000 grant from the Cleveland Browns Foundation and is part of the district’s broader effort that put WiFi on all school buses, which was funded in part by an $800,000 Emergency Connectivity Fund grant from the Ohio Department of Education. Taylor says the swipe-in and swipe-out program will cost the district about $130,000 per year.

Parents will need to download the Edulog Parent Portal app on their phones or devices in order to track their children’s arrival and departure from the buses.

Felton Thomas Jr., executive director and CEO of the Cleveland Public Library, said in the release that the new ID cards will create more “access and opportunities” for students.

“The library is a safe place for students to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and get hands on with the latest technology,” he said. “By ensuring every student has a Cleveland Public Library card, we are giving students the keys to discover new possibilities.”

Students who didn’t ride the school or RTA buses will still be given an ID card that functions as a library card as well.

Taylor says the district has rolled out the ID cards to 95% of school buildings; schools will still need to distribute them to the students.

The library benefit will also extend to Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority bus passes the district purchases for older students.

Conor Morris is the education reporter for Ideastream Public Media.